For photos from the Meadowlands contact Lisaphoto@playmeadowlands.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Dismantling Has Begun

While Harnessracing.com is reporting that negotiations for a lease of the Meadowlands is progressing with a  time deadline being the major factor, we are beginning to see what the 2011 stakes program will look like at the Meadowlands should a deal be made.  At this point, I'm not sure there will be a Meadowlands meet until the ink is dry on the agreement and nothing less.

The Historic Grand Circuit meet which traditionally has been raced at the Meadowlands in late June since parimutuel racing at Goshen stopped is on the move with the Historic Grand Circuit meeting moving to central New York at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.  The two year old events; The E.H. Harriman Cup, Acorn Stakes, Goshen Cup and Debutante Stakes will be moving to Vernon Downs while the three year old events such as the Historic-Dickerson Cup, Coaching Club Trotting Oaks, along with the Ladyship Stake and now mis-named Jersey Cup moving to Tioga Downs. 

There are the first races to be moved from the Meadowlands,  Assuming there is racing at the Meadowlands it is fair to assume some more stakes will be on the move or cancelled and this is what the major breeders are fearful of.  What good is a Meadowlands meet to the breeders if it becomes basically an overnight meet?  You are not going to attract those people who will be interested in high price stallions. With the move of these  races, I suspect races like the Yonkers Trot will be growing in importance again.

The dismantling has begun, it will be interesting to find out what the stakes schedule will look like nationwide in 2011...       

3 comments:

STGM said...

My take on the the unfolding situation is that it appears as if the industry is just trying to stay afloat for the next several years with the ultimate goal of waiting until AC is forced to open a casino in the Meadowlands. If they vacate the Meadowlands and it is torn down they will not be able to participate in any proceeds generated.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Tioga or Vernon, but where were the larger racetracks when it came out that the Meadowlands were dropping their claim to these races? Tioga and Vernon draw little attention via simulcasting and their handles are microscopically small compared to tracks like Yonkers and Balmoral. I know nothing of the politics and $ behind these races, just a question I'm throwing out.

Pacingguy said...

Let's start with the most basic answer. Jeff Gural and company were probably the only ones that wanted them. Also, let's not kid yourself, these are not the most major of stakes as many of these horses are making their career or season debut in these races.

Of all the tracks, management at Tioga and Vernon seem to be the only ones that believe in harness racing